I am nothing if not superstitious, and since guessing the CL match-ups before the draw worked out okay in the last round, I’m doing it again.
Liverpool v Villareal
Manchester United v Chelsea
Barcelona v Bayern Munich
Arsenal v Porto
First things, thank fuck they can’t draw Liverpool, that team’s shit hot.
Chances are at least one quarterfinal will be contested by two English teams. Platini wouldn’t have it any other way. If the four English sides end up meeting each other in the next round, you know he’s fixed the draw. And after last Saturday, it feels like Liverpool v United is an absolute certainty.
But for once, I’d like Liverpool to avoid a domestic match-up. We’ve seen enough of those, thanks. And obviously, given the form they’re in, I’d also like Liverpool to avoid Barca or Bayern, but form’s gone out the window against continental sides before.
So, I’d like to see a rematch of last year’s final, seeing either United or Chelsea bounced from the tournament, as well as two of the ‘in-form’ sides facing each other in Barca v Bayern. Which would leave either Villareal or Porto for Liverpool and Arsenal. The only reason I prefer Villareal is because Liverpool have met the Portuguese before.
Last round, I got two out of eight ‘guesses’ correct. If the same probabilities hold firm, we’ll see at least one of these four proposed matches.
But what’s more important is having the second leg at Anfield. That’s more of an advantage than anything. I’d rather not see Liverpool face an English team, but for the most part, Liverpool’s the team that others want to avoid. As Uli Hoeneß, general manager of Bayern, said, “I certainly don't want to play against Liverpool," he said. "I think they are very, very strong at the moment.”
It’s nice to hear a representative of a team who won 12-1 in the last round say that about this club.